Monday, March 27, 2017

It's a "Flimsy"...



I've been working on the "Tuxedo Quilt" since January and it is finally a top...or "flimsy", as quilters call it!  Tomorrow I am going to go buy a stencil for the border, and then after marking it, I'll be loading it into my frame so I can start with the hand-quilting.  I went ahead and loaded the backing into the frame today.



The "black" fabric looks solid from a distance, but this is what it looks like up close...


The white is a tone-on-tone with a swirl design in it, too.

This is the backing fabric I chose...fancy but whimsical...


I'm planning on entering this quilt in next year's quilt show in April!  :)   It measures 97" x 107" and is a variation of the "Hunter's Star" pattern.  It was designed with EQ7 and cut out completely on my Accuquilt using the Hunter's Star die.


Loretta

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Please Help if You Are Able...

No funny quotes or snips today...only seriousness and a heavy heart as sadness grips Andy's and my heart this week.  

Last Friday a good friend had a massive heart attack and is in a coma on life support.  Ron is Andy's best friend and was the Best Man at our wedding.  Ron is the person that got Andy to move to California...which is where he and I met, so I guess you could say Ron is the reason Andy & I met!  (Andy & Ron were childhood friends from Maine.)


Andy (left) and Ronnie (right) at our wedding


Ronnie holding 4 month old Erin


Our children call him "Uncle Ronnie" and his wife "Aunt Paulette", even though there is no direct familial connection.  Actually...when the kids were first beginning to talk, they called him "Uncle Macaroni"...because "Ronnie" sounded like "macaroni" to them.  LOL


But that was a long time ago.  Now he on life support with a VERY poor prognosis.

Andy left this morning to go to see him at the hospital in Virginia.  

The reason I'm posting this is because a GoFundMe page has been set up for Ron's family to help with medical expenses and possible/probable upcoming funeral expenses.  

ANY amount...no matter how large or how small...that you feel led to donate will be appreciated.  Five dollars might be a small amount by itself, but joined with others, will make a huge impact.  

Here's the link:  https://www.gofundme.com/fundraiser-for-ron-campbells-needs

I'm asking for your help...not for us, but for his family.  (BTW, you won't see our donation listed on the site because Andy took our check down to Paulette today when he went to the hospital...so I'm not asking you to do anything that we haven't already done ourselves.)






Thank you all in advance!

Loretta

Sunday, March 5, 2017

January 2017...



Wow!  It's been WAY TOOOOOO LONG since my last blog post.  So I'm going to do a review of January in this post.  

Our daughter turned 30 in January, so we traveled to Tennessee to celebrate it with her.   

We got to spend a little time with our grandchildren, Sera and Clark.


Just a boy and his grandpa...



I don't know if I had mentioned it in a previous post, but our daughter is pregnant with her third child...due in August!!!   I have picked out the quilt I'm going to make based on her nursery theme.  HOWEVER...it is a paper-pieced pattern...and I don't know how to paper-piece...so I guess I've gotta learn over the next few weeks!  

When we travel to visit our children we take Ginger with us.  She loves to take trips with us and goes wild when we pull out the suitcases to start packing.  It's almost impossible to keep her OUT of the car at that point!  We throw her bed on the back seat  and she jumps right in and settles down.



On the quilting front, I started the black and white quilt that I call "Tuxedo"...but I'll post on that in the next post.  For now I'd like to tell you about some great customer service I received from Fiskars.  Several years ago I purchased one of their rotating mats for squaring up quilt blocks.  Over time it developed deep groves and lost its "self-healing" quality.  Someone on one of the Facebook quilting groups was talking about Fiskars lifetime warranty and that they had replaced a rotary cutter of hers.  

Since my mat was basically unusable anymore because of the deep groves that trapped the rotary blade when I would try to use it, I decided to go to their website and fill out a warranty for and email it to them...with pictures.

You can see the groves in the mat here...




Within 3 days they got back to me saying they had received my claim.  About 2 days later, I got an email saying my replacement mat was being mailed out and I received it about a week later!!!  How's that for customer service?  LOVE IT!!!



Loretta





Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ooooops...I Did It Again...

Quote for the Day:
"Blessed are the children of the piecemakers for they shall inherit the quilts"
~author unknown


I have two finishes to share today...but one of them was completely finished in December and should have been listed in the last post as a 2016 finish.  

This one...what I call "Shades of Brown"...
When I got my new Tin Lizzie sit-down machine in December, I wanted to take it for a test run but didn't have a quilt sandwiched and ready to go.  Besides, I really didn't want to use a "real quilt" for the test run.  Fortunately, I had this quilt sandwich in my stash...something that was in a tote of fabric I purchased one time.  It's not my colors and it really wasn't pieced very accurately, so I don't know why I didn't just pitch it...but I'm glad I didn't.

I pulled it out and just did some outline quilting and meandering on it to get the feel of my new machine...






It turned out pretty well because I was able to "quilt out" the inaccuracies and able to make it lay flat.  It's just a throw size, so I decided that I will send it off to Quilts For Kids (quiltsforkids.org).  It will make a nice quilt for a boy and hopefully help him feel loved.

The second quilt was A-L-M-O-S-T completed in 2016...I had to finish up about 1.5 hours of machine binding on Jan. 1, 2017.  So "technically" it is a 2017 finish.  It was the second quilt I completed on the Tin Lizzie!

My grandson, Clark, turns three this June and I have a tradition of making the grandkids a "big bed" (twin) quilt for their third birthday.  Clark is all about Superman and Batman...but more about Superman...so I made him a Superman quilt.  I designed it myself using EQ7, so if anyone who uses EQ7 is interested in the pattern, I can send you the file.


Close-up of the quilting...


The Superman fabric that is the center of the star blocks and the border...


I like to use up the left-over fabrics to piece the back because I'm really trying to clean out my stash.  By the time I've made a quilt, I've tired of the fabric...so this way I get to use it up and move it out!!!

BUT...I had let Batman make a showing on the quilt, too...he's on the back...


Close-up of the quilting on the back...



I don't have a good camera, so it's hard to get a good picture of the label...


I do have plenty of Superman fabric leftover, so I think I'll make another quick quilt using it and send it to Quilts for Kids, too.  You know...to get rid of the fabric!  

Loretta

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 (Quilt) Year in Review...

Quote for the Day:
"Make this year so amazing that last year gets jealous!"
~author unknown


Thought I'd do a "year in review" about the quilts I've made/finished in 2016...mainly to refresh my own memory!  I know that I should have done this post before the 5th of January...but...well...you know...whatever...

It looks like my first completion was the quilt I made for my sister, Bev..."Cottage Blossoms"


My sister is so adorable that I'm going to post two pictures of her quilt so you can see her with it, too!  😊


The second completion was the "Ugly Quilt"...this was a quilt top that was in a bag of quilt tops that was given to me by a friend...I think they had been made by her mom who had passed away.  Anyway, this one had soooooooooooooo many issues (stains, not laying flat, wide seam allowances, raveling fabric, etc., etc., etc.) that I was going to toss it...actually had it hovering over the trash can...when I decided to sandwich it and use it for "practice" while I took online free-motion quilting classes.  It is now a good utility quilt...something to take to the park, game, camping, etc.  It is warm and has been quilted to within an inch of its life...so feel free to abuse it!  LOL


Completion #3...Alex's 3 year birthday quilt..." 'I Spy'/Bug Jar Quilt"...


#4...I finished hand-quilting the "Cottage Rose Baskets" quilt....my first time doing big-stitch quilting...


Probably the one I am most proud of because not only did I design it using EQ7, it was the one that I was most adventurous with and most satisfied with when it came to the free-motion quilting... Completion #5:  "Christmas Stars" made for my son and daughter-in-law...


And last, but not least was Completion #6...."Oh Christmas Tree".  This quilt was actually started about 3 years ago, but I didn't work on the hand-quilting very often, so it was languishing on the UFO list.  I decided to pop it into my hand-quilting frame and had it done in no time... just in time to be hung on the wall.  It was our one and only Christmas tree this year...


This year I have pieced quilt blocks for other projects that I am currently working on, made quilt blocks for our WV Quilt of Valor group, and even ALMOST completed a quilt (I finished up the second half of the binding on January 1st...so unfortunately, it doesn't "count" for 2017!)...but the six listed here are the COMPLETIONS for 2016.

Loretta

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Oh Christmas Tree (Quilt)...




Well...I put up our Christmas tree today...it took me about 2 minutes...


Yeah...this is the extent of my Christmas decorating this year!  

Neither of the kids are coming in for Christmas this year, so when that happens we don't bother decorating.  Decorating takes time away from quilting...and Andy doesn't mind not having to bring down all the boxes from the attic.  

I do get sad when there are no kids or grandchildren here for the holidays, but thankfully, it doesn't happen that often.  Our good friends (just happen to be our neighbors, too!) have invited us over for Christmas so we'll be there!  :)


In other news...the countdown is underway...Andy retires in THREE WEEKS!!!   It's a little scary but we both are looking forward to it!  Him...for obvious reasons.  Me...because he has agreed to be my "houseboy" and take care of everything...cleaning, cooking, shopping, etc!!!  :D

It will be nice to finally get some projects done around the house and property that have been on hold because he hasn't had the time.   (Shhhh...don't tell him that I plan on keeping him busier after he retires than he was when working!  LOL  Our little secret!!!)

Loretta



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Gift to Myself...




Guess what Mrs. Claus bought for herself this year???



A sit-down long-arm quilting machine!!!!  I am over the moon about it!!!  I've wanted a sit-down long-arm ever since I first saw Ricky Tims use one a quilting show on TV!!!  I don't have the room, the money, or the ability to stand for long periods of time at a traditional long-arm machine, so I've had my eye on a sit-down one for a few years now.  

I finally decided that my free-motion quilting was good enough to invest the money.  I had been seriously looking at them online for about the last 6 months and had mentioned to Andy that it was getting closer and closer to me having one.  

Then on Black Friday, the same company that I had purchased my Juki TL 2000Qi machine that I had been doing my FMQing on put the very machine that I had been eye-balling ON SALE... the TinLizzie18" forward facing sit-down machine. 

Well...what was I to do but order one!!!  It took 12 days to get here, but it finally arrived yesterday.  However, the table didn't come till today.  Tonight Andy and I put it together.  (Well, mostly Andy...but I supervised!)  It was kind of a pain-in-the-arse to put together....and there is still one cover that doesn't fit where it is supposed to, so I need to call tomorrow to get that straightened out...but it is together and running!!!





The table has two extensions that flip up with swing-out legs to make the table bigger for larger quilts.



I couldn't wait to try it out so I made a little quilt sandwiched and tried it!  It is so FAST and so SMOOTH!!!   I had read some reviews that said it was "loud", but I think it is fairly quiet.  In fact, I think it is quieter than the Juki was!  I can't wait to do a "real" quilt on it!!!



They also have a "front-facing" one that come in a table, too, but that table extends out the back and not out the sides like mine does.  That one would cause the table to stick out too far into my sewing room....and it's tight enough in there now with the new machine!  :)  


Loretta